Daily Box Office Analysis for December 12, 2007
By David Mumpower

I told you not to read the column, ladies. It's...not pretty.

The Golden Compass gets a break from being the laughing stock of the top ten this week as we have a Wednesday opener, The Perfect Holiday. Its results almost make the bomb that is The Golden Compass look like Titanic in comparison. The Maurice Chestnut/[bp:420_]Gabrielle Union[/bp] reunion (less than subtle hint: watch Two Can Play That Game!) production from Yari Film Group is dead on arrival, earning only $380,000 from 1,306 venues.

This is a single day venue average of $291. The good news about this result is that it is the third highest within the top ten. The bad news is that if we multiply it by a factor of three to give it the equivalence of a weekend opener, this is a per-venue average of $873. Yes, folks, this is the range where the movie isn't making enough money to pay for the prints. Say what you will about the [bp:173_]Nicole Kidman[/bp]/[bp:3280_]Daniel Craig[/bp] financial disaster, at least it is making money beyond its print count. Someone is getting fired over this. Why movie-going audiences refuse to accept Maurice Chestnut and Gabrielle Union as two of the most engaging actors of our generation escapes me. Union had more success on the disaster that was Night Stalker than she has experienced here. It's just not right, and if you need any consoling, Ms. Union, I happily volunteer my services.

With regards to The Golden Compass, it manages another $1.42 million on Wednesday. That is a stiff 13.7% decline from Tuesday's result. The $180 million production is already off 16.5% from Monday, the largest drop of any title within the top ten. We have been using two comparison models this week, Apocalypto's first set and Casino Royale's second set of weekdays. Apocalypto fell only 11.2% from its first Tuesday to Wednesday. Its tally of $1.19 million represented a drop of 21.2% from its first weekday, so at least The Golden Compass is beating it in that regard. Casino Royale had the best Tuesday/Wednesday decline of the three, falling 8.2%. It also has the best Monday/Wednesday holdover with a drop of only 6.2%.

The top ten has combined receipts of $4,707,178 for Wednesday. This is a decline of 5.8% from Tuesday's total of $4,998,880. This is, however, an increase of 11.3% from last Wednesday's $4,229,954. In comparison to 2006 results, we are way down. Tuesday, December 12, 2006, had combined top ten box office of $6,500,293. Its Wednesday result nearly mirrored that amount at $6,444,182, a decline of only 0.9%. So, the fallout from the weakness of The Golden Compass as an anchor box office title is that we are down 27.0% year over year from 2006. There is no sugarcoating the fact that we are limping toward the finish line in 2007 box office.

Box office totals for the week to date see a total of $14,542,997 with a split of 32.4% coming from Wednesday's total of $4,707,178, 34.4% coming from Tuesday's total of $4,998,880 and 33.2% coming from Monday's 4,836,939. Last week's Monday through Wednesday receipts totaled $13,067,905 with a split of 33.1% on Monday, 34.5% on Tuesday and 32.4% coming on Wednesday. So, the two weeks have seen uncanny similarities in terms of box office behavior.